“Shakshuka is a great dish… even when you’re a little tipsy, because it only requires a few ingredients,” says Chef Danny Elmaleh of Cleo at The Redbury Hotel in Los Angeles.
Chef Elmaleh’s unique culinary style was deeply influenced by his upbringing. Born in Haifa, Israel—to a Moroccan father and a Japanese mother—Elmaleh began his training at the famed Culinary Institute of America in New York. He then cooked in Japan and in Milan, finally landing at Cleo, where you’ll find a rather bohemian vibe to the dining room and a light, super-fresh menu that centers around mezze platters built to share.
Shakshuka is an ancient dish, and its name literally translates to mixture or to shakein different Arabic languages. It’s a popular breakfast option in the Middle East and around the world. It’s also a protein-packed, very healthy alternative to the plain ol’ bagel-with-butter you were going to have instead.
What you need:
1 8-oz. can of tomatoes (or 1 cup fresh tomatoes, diced)
1 clove garlic, diced
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. onion, chopped
2 red bell peppers (canned or fresh and julienned)
4 Tbsp. garbanzo beans
2 Tbsp. chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (if you have it, rock on! If not, you’re still ok)
1 tsp. cumin
How to make it:
Shakshuka is best made in a small iron skillet, because it’s not only pretty, but also a one-pan clean-up.
Pour the oil in the pan over medium heat. Throw in the garlic and onions, and sauté them until translucent. Add in the tomatoes, the beans, the red peppers, and those chipotle peppers if you have some. Season that with cumin, and some salt and pepper to taste. Cook it down for five or six minutes, until well-combined. Crack the eggs into the pan and let them cook until the whites are done and the yolk is over-easy.
Grab some bread for dipping, if you have some on hand, and sprinkle on some cilantro for garnish if you’ve got a breakfast date you’re trying to impress.